School of Health Professions

American Occupational Therapy Association president visits campus during OT Month

AOTA President Alyson Stover speaks to OT and OTA students on April 15 on campus.
American Occupational Therapy Associate President Alyson Stover addresses Doctor of Occupational Therapy students from UT Health San Antonio and occupational therapy assistant students from St. Philip's College.


An annual intraprofessional collaboration activity between Doctor of Occupational Therapy students at UT Health San Antonio and students in the occupational therapy assistant program at St. Philip’s College is the first of its kind in the US, American Occupational Therapy Association President Alyson Stover noted during her visit to the Department of Occupational Therapy in April.

AOTA President Alyson Stover, MOT, JD, OTR/L, is an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh. She visited campus during National Occupational Therapy Month on April 15 and shared her thoughts on the profession and the opportunities OTD  and OTA students have to elevate their practice and the care they provide by seeking to collaborate. In particular, she urged them to actively engage with each other when they are practicing in the profession — something the annual intraprofessional activity the Department of Occupational Therapy hosts prepares them to do.

“The one thing that remains very consistent in our profession for many years is the idea that the occupational therapist and the occupation therapy assistant have limited opportunity to know what or how their collaboration looks like until they are actually out in practice,” Stover told the students.  

“Most of us take years to learn how to do this collaborative supervision process. But you get today to learn it," Stover said.

The intraprofessional activity, held the same day as Stover’s visit, included a case study exercise in which OTD and OTA students shared with each other their perspectives and ideas for designing the therapy approach for the patient described in the case study. 

“President  Stover’s commitment to using occupational therapy as a powerful driving force for larger health care change and advancing occupational therapy’s national and global relevance has been a key focus of her leadership and of her presidency, so we are thrilled to have her visiting with you,” said Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, PhD, OTR, FAOTA.

The department also welcomed Scott Trudeau, PhD, MAOT, director of practice engagement for AOTA, and hosted a reception during Stover’s visit that included remarks from School of Health Professions Dean David Shelledy, PhD, RRT, FAARC, FASAHP, and from San Antonio City District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez, who presented a proclamation on behalf of the City of San Antonio recognizing the OT program during OT Month. 

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